Katherine V.W. Stone

Katherine V.W. Stone is the Arjay and Frances Miller professor of law, UCLA School of Law, and author of From Widgets to Digits: Employment Regulation for the Changing Workplace.

Recent Articles

Signing Away Our Rights

Increasingly, corporations trick workers and consumers into giving up their legal rights by forcing arbitration of disputes -- and they are getting help from friendly courts.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
In 2007, Antonio Jackson, an African American worker at the Rent-a-Center store in Washoe County, Nevada, concluded that he had been repeatedly denied promotion to sales manager because of his race. He complained to his store manager, the corporate office, and the human-resource department, all to no avail. Instead he was suspended, then transferred to a less desirable location, and ultimately fired. Jackson sued for race discrimination, only to be told by his employer that he had forfeited his rights to appeal his case when he took the job. Rent-a-Center required all employees to agree to compulsory arbitration. The waiver covered the right to sue not just for civil-rights violations but also for violations of other hard-won employee rights such as a minimum wage, overtime pay, rest breaks, parental leave, and disability rights as well as protection from workplace sex discrimination and sexual harassment. Astonishingly, in 2010, the Supreme Court agreed with Rent-a-Center, holding...